Life at thatgamecompany

thatgamecompany is an award winning game developer that sees games as an entertainment medium, not just a software product. We design and develop artistically crafted, broadly accessible video games that push the boundaries of interactive entertainment.

By shifting our perspective on what it means to create a game, TGC aims to create a welcoming environment where video game developers can come together to create truly great and innovative games. We seek talent that values integrity and personal growth within an environment of intense collaboration and experimentation.

All full-time positions offer an industry competitive package of salary and benefits and are on-site in our office located in Santa Monica, California - neighboring Riot Games and Naughty Dog. We are funded by Benchmark Capital and are looking for diverse talent to grow our studio. All hires are expected to contribute to making our studio a more inclusive, positive environment for great people and great work to flourish and grow.

If you feel an affinity for our work and wish to make a meaningful contribution to our mission, please apply here.

Current Openings…


Graphics Engineer

We are a small studio dedicated to crafting unique and high quality interactive experiences, and we are looking for a full-time graphics specialist who can contribute to the game directly and with high autonomy. Because we believe games can provide meaningful entertainment for everyone (not just the traditional gaming audience), we always strive to make our graphics approachable and innately appealing. The goal in this role is to deliver the kind of visual spectacle and rich moment-to-moment feedback that helped define our last game, Journey — widely considered 2012’s Game of the Year.

This is a graphics specialization role focused on lower-level programming where, if the game needs it and inspiration strikes, the Graphics Engineer could spend months at a time deep-diving into implementing significant new graphical features. Yet the person we’re looking for is enough of an artist at heart to select algorithms that support the game’s aesthetic, and enough of a designer to prioritize and re-prioritize the features the game tells us it needs over the shifting course of development.

This role requires a candidate who:

  • Is skilled at writing state-of-the-art real-time graphics algorithms
  • Has a keen aesthetic sense
  • Has a desire to see the medium of games mature and increase in relevance for people around the world

You will be more likely to enjoy this role if you:

  • Value autonomy and personal responsibility
  • Believe in the practice of rapid prototyping and relentless iteration
  • Desire to contribute to experimental video games

Networking Engineer

Are you someone who doesn’t take reliable infrastructure for granted? Are you fascinated with building systems that seem to be alive: adaptable to the environment, robust, capable of monitoring themselves and responding to stress? Are you interested in problems that deal with high amounts of uncertainty? Do you enjoy discovering how the solutions change when the variables grow extremely large?

We’re developing a real-time, multiplayer game server system capable of handling a massive amount of concurrent users. Providing a reliable and low latency experience for our players is a priority. Accounts and login, resource scaling, seamless matchmaking, live updates, are all examples of systems that you would be planning, executing, testing, and maintaining. We have a working system, but we need your help to bring it to the robust, world-class level required to provide an impactful multiplayer experience to people around the globe. If this sounds interesting to you, get in touch!

You should:

  • Be a fan of TGC games and excited about enhancing the player experience
  • Have experience working on the back-end for an MMO or high-volume web service
  • Have strong opinions on the different approaches to managing network communication,
    resource scaling, automated deployment, security, reliability, and data tracking/analysis
  • Be familiar with creating unit tests, stress tests, and integration tests
  • Be proficient debugging in network environments
  • Be fluent in C++
  • Be proficient in Linux

It would be great if you also:

  • Have experience with AWS
  • Have experience with both relational and non-relational databases
  • Are familiar with Erlang / functional programming

Feel Engineer

We are a small studio dedicated to crafting unique and high quality interactive experiences, and we are looking for a talented designer-programmer hybrid who will collaborate with both the engineering and design teams. The goal in this role is to drive the creation of core gameplay and technical systems and tools highly-tuned for the level of rich feedback and player immersion that helped define our last game, Journey — widely considered 2012’s Game of the Year.

An example week for this person might be: Attend a user playtest and discover the need for a new camera feature to improve the game’s design. Program the camera feature and jump into the level editor to test and refine its implementation. Then, improve the level editor to enable the rest of the design team to make full use of your new feature in future levels. Of course, the role isn’t limited to just camera features. Any interactive system applies — procedural animation, cloth simulation, player controls, AI creatures — use your imagination!

This role requires a candidate who:

  • Has experience crafting technical systems that enable gameplay (either alone or with a small team)
  • Is proficient in C or C++ for quickly prototyping 3D gameplay
  • Is skilled at creating fluid user interactions with rich feedback
  • Enjoys enabling team members by improving the creative pipeline 
  • is comfortable with cross-disciplinary work and collaboration

You will be more likely to enjoy this job if you:

  • Seek adventure and uncertainty in exploring experimental and risky game concepts
  • Believe in the practice of rapid prototyping and relentless iteration
  • Have a desire to create meaningful, enriching experiences that touch and inspire players

For a better grasp of the scope and expectations of this role, please see our sample feel engineer test.


Senior Technical Gameplay Engineer

Our games rely on rich moment-to-moment feedback to accentuate the player’s actions and create a living world.  Creating these systems (e.g. cloth creatures and rippling sand in Journey, thousands of bending grass blades in Flower) requires people who understand how to distill the high-level vision into something simple, beautiful, and performant.

We’re looking for a Senior Gameplay Engineer who can play this role of helping to bring the world to life.  You will be responsible for not only executing these visual and behavioral game systems, but helping shape their direction by understanding the opportunities and constraints afforded by the hardware.  We’ll be relying on your keen eye for ways to make the most impactful interactive moments with the simplest possible execution.  If you love juicy feedback and can confidently make it happen under constraint, please get in touch!

Here are some broad examples of the types of systems this role might work on:

  • Behavior of friendly and unfriendly creatures
  • Visualizing motion of wind
  • Procedural animation and basic sims (e.g. particles, constraint systems)
  • Surface deformation and feedback

This role requires a candidate with:

  • 4+ years implementing interactive systems in C or C++
  • Design sense for how feedback systems enhance game-feel and evoke emotions
  • Strong taste for delivering elegant visual feedback at reasonable cost on CPU and GPU
  • Ability to scope and direct features to meet high-level goals for player experience
  • Comfortable incorporating feedback and communicating cross-discipline

You will be more likely to enjoy this job if you:

  • Believe in the practice of rapid prototyping and relentless iteration
  • Enjoy a minimal “data-oriented” approach to code, free of cumbersome abstraction

This position will start as a one year contract.


Senior Level Designer

As game designers we think of spaces as the context for player interactions – particularly mulitplayer interactions.  We rely on spatial arrangements to create our games’ underlying drama – from the basic rhythms of rising and falling to creating a sense of choice, and even influencing how players relate to one another.  In addition to the artistic side, each level is responsible for teaching the player how to play, while also delivering key emotional and narrative beats via interactivity.  We’re looking for an experienced level designer with a passion for making powerful moments out of minimal mechanics.

This role requires a candidate who:

  • Is experienced shipping titles at a professional level
  • Has strong experience designing 3D levels in support of an interactive narrative
  • Has scripting experience (e.g. lua, C#, visual programming like Blueprint)
  • Has a flair for visual framing, pacing, and flow
  • Appreciates the process of playtesting and iteration

You will be more likely to excel in this role if you:

  • Are experienced in crafting for the unique needs of multiplayer games
  • Are proficient with Maya
  • Are proficient in C/C++
  • Have art skills such as sketching, digital painting, and 3D modelling